(1937-11-11) India Night at the Cauldron
Details for India Night at the Cauldron
Summary: Elly has a special culture night at the Leaky Cauldron to celebrate the return of Audrey and Ranjali, as well as a certain starlet's belated birthday (she's 22, she swears).
Date: November 11, 1937
Location: Leaky Cauldron

The Leaky Cauldron is having a culture night! On the menu chalkboards is whimsical designs of Indian-ish look to them with things listed on the menu. 'Aloo Gobi(Spiced Potatoes and Cauliflower, Saag Paneer (Indian Creamed Spinach), Biryani(Yogurt and Tomato Braised Chicken), Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry), and Beef Vindaloo.' With Mint Tea and Mango Lassi to drink! Elly is in her brand new saree and some silks are hung over the rafters to give the Leaky Cauldron an Exotic Tent feel. Mick is even sporting a fez cap! The things he does for his daughter!

Ranjali steps into the Cauldron with Audrey, holding the door for the woman once she is inside. She, too, is in a saree, one of deep green that she purchased along with the one she gave Elly, and has added some elaborate gold earrings tha thang down nearly to her shoulders. She lights up, seeing Elly in her gift, and turns her bright smile back to the singer, unable to hide a small laugh, "It's like we never left."

The door opens once again and in walks Edwin. He stops, looks about, looks outside, looks inside again. His eyes look around and first he sees Mick, with a fez. He blinks and purses his lips before he just shakes his head and walks to his normal seat. Ran and Audrey get a look and a bow from the man as he passes them with a smile, "Evening." He speaks and then he sees Elly. To this, he stops in his tracks and loses his breath.

Did that man just walk past Audrey Taylor with his breath intact? This Will Not Stand. Like the other women, she is adorned in the Indian style. While it is not as revealing as some of the things she wore in India, when she slides an outer shawl off, much more of her midriff is bared. Oh, the scandal. But this seems to be the night for it! Once they are fully inside the Cauldron, she links arms with Ranjali, and leads them to a table. "Elly, my darling! A half glass of whiskey? Single malt? What will you have, Ranji?"

Elly shines like the Indian sun hearing Ranjali and the Audrey. "Oh! They're here!" She tells everyone and everyone applauds and cheers a, "Welcome Home!" as orchestrated by the sweeping gestures of Elly. They've been practicing for the last hour! Then she angles her beaming to Edwin and gestures to the table that Ranjali and Audrey usually sit at and there are silk harem style pillows on the chairs and a petals from vibrant flowers scattered on the table. She mother hens until they are all sitting and cozy before she gives Edwin a drive by kiss to the cheek. "Ranjali, Audrey, have ye met Edwin yet?" is asked as she skirts…slinky skirts this time…to get the special order for Ranjali and Audrey.

Ranjali lets out a tiny squeak, when Audrey decides to bare her stomach. But before she can recover she is being pulled along and asked about her order. "A-ah… I… oh!" Blushing suddenly from the attention, she smiles demurely at the floor, "Just tea. Thank you… n-no, I don't believe so… ?" Glancing up, she smiles to Edwin and offers a nod of greeting, all the while sneaking glances around at all the hard work Elly has done. "Its all so lovely, Elly… "

Edwin is herded into a small area with… Pillows? He stands and looks at the pillows and then at Elly and gets one of those 'oh please save me' looks on his face. The kiss to his cheek causes a bit of a flush to his cheek and then he turns and regards the two ladies and his cheeks go beet red, "Oh my." And he averts his eyes rather quickly away.

Audrey is not about to let those eyes avert anywhere. At Elly's introduction, she walks right up to Edwin, her hands going to his shoulders. "Edwin, is it? My, you're a handsome devil." She gives Elly a wry smirk, then leans boldly in to kiss each of Edwin's cheeks before stepping back and offering her hand toward him, limp-wristed. "Audrey Taylor," she introduces herself breathily.

Elly returns with the drinks, "Cooo, 'e knows who ye are Audrey! Con't know why ye always introducin yerself! E'ryone knows who ye are loverly." A peck is placed on Audrey's cheek and then the drinks are set down at their decorated table. She then straightens up and angles a hip and also bends over towards Ranjali. Jiggle. "Did I git the foldin righ? Been fraid it was just going ta slip righ'off."

The small smile drops from Ranjali's face when Audrey steps up next to - and kisses- Edwin. For the briefest of moments, pure jealousy sparks in her eyes. Its gone again quickly, though, squashed so that Ranjali can smile at Elly, while blushing even more deeply. Not the jiggle! "A-ah, yes, ah, it looks fine, just… " Hesitantly, she reaches up to as discreetly as possible check the folds at Elly's waist. "Yes, very well done. Like a natural." Her hands drop again instantly, once they have made certain that the saree won't actually fall off, as do her eyes, back to the floor.

Edwin is stunned by the woman walking right up to him and getting that close. With each kiss to his cheek the man winces, not sure what is happening. As she finally offers her hand, he opens one eye to see what was happening and then tentatively reaches out to take that hand and kiss the back of it. "Madam." And for some reason his voice squeaks a little bit on that. And then as Elly decides to add a jiggle, Edwin can't really control himself and he goes a little weak at the knees. Luckily he finds a nice pillow to sit upon. "Please. No. No slipping off." He mutters almost not realizing he's said it.

Audrey beams when her hand is kissed. "Oh, you lovely man. He's a gentleman, this one." As she makes her way back to sit by Ranjali, her hand rubs Edwin's shoulder as if they were the closest of friends for many years. But once she has settled in on the cushioned seat, her hand is seeking Ranjali's to lift and kiss, and suddenly her eyes are sparkling at the dark-haired woman, and everyone else is forgotten.

Oh Yes! The JIGGLE. While the saree covers her up more up top than she usually is covered the folded fabric of the skirt is much slinkier than the layers of peasant skirts she normally wears. So the customers today have gained a new appreciation for Elly bum. Out from the kitchen comes a parade of wenches that wear a piece here and there of Indian looking finery, but not the whole package like Elly. They have plates and platters and the decorated VIP table is strewn with everything that's on the menu. At the back of the parade comes Jack…wearing a frilly apron and holding a rather large present and he sets it down on the table and the whole pub on cue especially lead by Elly. "Happy Birthday Audrey!" Elly grabs the bow of the present as Jack scampers back quick as he can back into the kitchen and with a tug harmless little fireworks burst into little stars that pop and form Audrey over a large whimsical birthday cake that's revealed.

Ranjali is starting to give Edwin some rather dangerous looks. And then Audrey takes her hand. Nearly melting from the sudden attention, she gives the singer a look that is almost as smoldering as her anger of a moment ago had been. It lasts only a moment, though, as they are in public. And then she's focusing on Elly once more, her eyes and smile both wide with delight at the display presented. She clapps, beaming at the presenters, the fireworks, Elly, and of course Audrey. Even Edwin, however briefly, is given a bright and happy smile. "Elly! Its lovely!"

Edwin watches as everything just gets bigger around him and as it does, so do his eyes. The looks from Ran cause him to wilt slightly under them and he opens his mouth to make some kind of excuse before he just closes his mouth and rests upon his hand as Ran goes back to Aubrey. The cake comes and the little fireworks and all go off and he gives just a touch of a little smile that falters for a moment after.

Audrey almost misses the parade and presentation, until Ranjali's shift in attention pulls her out of her reverie. Her jaw drops and her lips curl into an elated smile. "Oh, ELLY! You darling woman!" She exclaims dramatically. "But my birthday was well over a week ago! How did you even know?" Oh, maybe because Audrey makes sure everyone knows every year. Not that she's ever told a soul her real age. Somehow that part always gets skipped over.

Elly puts her hands on her hips, "Aye, go vanishing off on us right on your birthday. Like ye don't wish to celebrate it. People might fink Audrey!" That she's getting too old for birthdays! She offers the cake slicer to Audrey and then settles down next to Edwin and gets right close indeed, almost shy of snuggling.

Ranjali giggles, and as Elly takes her seat so close to Edwin even offers him another smile of pure happiness. "You'll have to forgive her, Elly. It was my fault, really. I was… beyond overdue for a vacation. So Audrey stepped in and made it happen." She glances Audrey's way, her smile shifting to that adoring one reserved especially for the starlet.

Edwin looks to Audrey, "When was your birthday?" Edwin asks and as Elly comes in so close he leans over to take her hand as well and lifts it to kiss the back of it before he releases it.

Audrey takes the slicer, standing to get a better angle on the cake. "Oh, it isn't important, really. I don't want to dwell on it but November 2nd." She looks down at the cake, "Oh, Elly. I can't cut into it. It's too beautiful. You do it." She thrusts the slicer toward Elly.

Elly giggles and takes the slicer from Audrey. "As ye wish dearie." Masterfully the cake is then divided up into equal portions and distributed through the Cauldron to everyone there. The only piece that's larger than the others goes to Audrey. Not to mention the top tier is preserved and boxed up for the Birthday girl to take home and enjoy it as quickly or slowly as she likes, though Elly stage whispers to Audrey. "It's sticky bun cake!"

Ranjali chuckles and sits back as Audrey hands over the knife. She takes a few moments to just watch the starlet, admiring the woman with a tiny, near inaudible sigh of bliss.

Edwin gives a little nod of his head and a chuckle towards Audrey. "Totally forgot mine this year with all that was going on." He comments, mostly to himself. As the cake is sat in front of him he lifts the plate to the woman, "The birthday girl!" He announces in a toast with the cake.

Audrey beams around at everyone, and her eyes boggle out of her head at the size of her piece. "Elly, you're going to make me fat!" Not that it's going to stop her from eating it. She takes her first bite, and just about swoons out of her chair. "Sticky bun cake. Merlin's bushy tushy, this is delicious. Elly, everything is fabulous. I don't know how you do it. Beauty, brains, talent, heart, all in one package. You need to be in show business, darling."

Elly blinks and coors sadly. "'Alloween…" The witch has a bear trap memory for birthdays. "I'm so sorry Edwin. We'll do somefin special." Then she's blushing at Audrey's praise. "Nah, just a simple bar wench Audrey." She giggles shaking her head, "Merlin's bushy tushy…gonna use that one some day." Truly the wench looks happiest when those around her are well fed and enjoying themselves. Too shy to be in show business. She doesn't like it when too much attention is shown just on her. Just ask Edwin! "Ranjali…I 'ope the food's alright. I know I din't use the propah amount of spices. Ye know how fragile we british tummies are."

Ranjali nods to Elly as Audrey compliments her, her smile just a tad smaller but still firmly in place. "To the birthday girl." She echoes Edwin, raising her own plate in that adorable cake-toast. She chuckles, though, forgetting any small jealousies as Elly speaks up. "It looks lovely. A truly excellent way to introduce people to it. Though I must agree with Audrey, you are far more than a… wench."

Edwin gives a little shake of his head, "Oh, that was just me musing. Not a reminder." He looks to Ranjali, "She is. To be sure. I call her the cauldron angel." He looks to her with an as adoring look as anyone ever had to a woman. His words stall and his gaze narrows just to her for a bit before he coughs and then looks to all the other food piled on the table, "Never tried any of this… What should I do first?"

Audrey arches an eyebrow at Edwin while his attention is on Elly, then turning the eye toward Elly herself. She shrugs, "Well, I've said it for years, Elly. You belong in pictures with a face like that." When she looks to Ranjali, there is perhaps a slight hint of that jealousy there. She's noticed Ranji noticing Elly in the past. "And you," she breathes, "Belong in the heavens. But I'm too selfish to let you go back." Just to top off the saccharin sweetness of it all, she scoops up a bite of cake on her fork, offering it to Ranjali.

Elly blushes more hotly as more people start to pay her such fine compliments. She even lifts up her plate of cake to pointedly hide behind it. But when Edwin asks what he should do first she leans forward to get him some naan bread and rips off a good portion from it and then she scoops some of the beef vindaloo into the bread scoop and brings it up to Edwin's mouth with a smile.

Ranjali usually is not one of public displays such as this. But tonight is different for a number of reasons. So, arching a brow, she leans forward to take the offered bite. She pulls back slowly, giving Audrey a mildly warning (and also rather heated) look. "You might… ah." She chuckles, noticing Elly already taking care of Edwin's question, and reaches for the Baingan Bharta.

Edwin watches the two women and idly brushes a fingertip across his own lip as Ranjani is offered a bit from her lover. Then he's offered something himself and he takes it with a soft bite. He looks down a little as he chews and then comes up to look at Elly, "May I?" As he offers to find something for her to eat with his fingers. "If you would allow…"
Ranjali has reconnected.

Audrey, however, is entirely prone to public displays of any kind. So after the bite is given, she leans closer to Ranjali in an attempt to steal a brief kiss.

Elly beams watching Audrey and Ranjali. "Ye two are so wonderful." She praises. Very happy that they've found obvious happiness. Then Edwin's offering to feed her. Blushing she nods accepting his offer but then she's pointing a finger at him. "Powers That Be help ye iffin ye spill curry on me saree Edwin Collins!"

Ranjali sighs, defeated, and leans in for a kiss that, though brief, is certainly more than proper for a public display. She's laughing as she pulls back, though, and looking across the table to Elly and Edwin, "Even if he does, I know a few tricks for getting it out again."

The Leaky Cauldron is having a culture night! On the menu chalkboards is whimsical designs of Indian-ish look to them with things listed on the menu. 'Aloo Gobi(Spiced Potatoes and Cauliflower, Saag Paneer (Indian Creamed Spinach), Biryani(Yogurt and Tomato Braised Chicken), Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry), and Beef Vindaloo.' With Mint Tea and Mango Lassi to drink! Some silks are hung over the rafters to give the Leaky Cauldron an Exotic Tent feel. Mick is even sporting a fez cap! The things he does for his daughter! Elly, Ranjali, and Audrey are all in saree and sitting around a table decorated for Audrey's birthday in petals and an Indian lantern. Cake is being passed out to every customer. Edwin is sitting next to Elly at the table and seems to be attempting to master the art of feeding Indian food wrapped in naan bread to Elly who's looking more than a little wary of getting curry on her new saree.

Edwin gives a little bow of his head to Elly. "I would not dream of it." As he reaches out and pulls off a piece of the bread to sample the same as she gave him. He keeps his other hand under to keep any of it off Elly. Still, he glances towards Ran and Audrey and his cheeks color a little at the kiss.

There's the usual grinding of the wall opening up from Diagon Alley, and Vanessa emerges. The young woman is pale, and honestly looks almost terrified. She doesn't even notice who's in the pub at the moment, instead going to the bar, and ordering a shot of firewhisky from Mick!

Audrey takes note of Edwin's reaction…and of course she loves it. She winks at him as she settls back into her seat. She keeps one hand laced into Ranjali's, forcing both of them to eat one-handed. "Lovely. I do feel like we're still in India, Ranji." She sighs happily at the memories, "I want to go back already."

Elly pouts over at Audrey after she's taken the bite from Edwin and given him a smile. "But Audrey, the point was to show ye, ye both didn't have to leave us. It was so glum wiffout ye two about. Makes me all green wif envy." She giggles and winks and then compiles her next bite for herself of some Biryani, adding a bit of the (special for the birthday table) saffron rice to her next bite. "Please Ranjali, if ye have any critique. I can only get better iffin ye give me pointers."

Ranjali nods, ducking her head to hide the renewed blush. Quickly she starts filling her own plate, following the curry with some of the saffron rice, and then a little bit of each thing she can squeeze onto her plate. "Well it looks wonderful." She offers to start, before taking a bite of the curry. As she tastes the dish, she looks up once more, frowning slightly when she catches sight of Vanessa over Elly's shoulder.

Vanessa hasn't noticed that she's been recognized yet. Instead, she's looking down at the shot of alcohol that Elly's Da has poured her. She stares into it for a moment, then takes it, hand shaking. Unfortunately, she doesn't get it to her lips before the glass slips from her fingers, clattering to the cobbles of the floor, the alcohol quickly seeping between them…

Edwin is reaching for something to try on his own now and when the glass shatters his eyes immediately go for it to see what the noise came from. His brow lifts and he looks between the two women who share a gaze.

Audrey pays no mind to the clattering. There's a party going on! A little noise is to be expected. She loads up her plate with the variety of foods. "I'll be honest, I wish I'd had something milder to start with in India. I'll bet my face was beet red after my first bite of curry." She giggles, "I didn't know the meaning of 'spicy' until that moment."

Elly goes pale when Ranjali tastes her curry and frowns!! Elly's world just about crumbles around her. "Oh ye hates it! I'm so sorry…" She then starts to lean forward to immediately start collecting up the dishes. "I'll get ye something else. I'm sorry." Elly has never had someone frown like that after eating her food, so she's a bit beside herself with trying to fix it. Another wench cleans up the mess Vanessa's whiskey made. Mick frowns at the waste. "Call ya a cab girl?" He asks Vanessa.

Vanessa shakes her head, as she hands over her money, then stands, and makes her way out the door into the square, and off into the crowds

Ranjali blinks. "Ne- what, Elly! No!" Jumping up, taking Audrey's hand with her at first, she reaches out to grab her friend's arm with her free hand. "Please, its wonderful! I simply saw someone familiar, please, don't take it away." She detangles her fingers from Audrey's to step around the table, uncertain for a moment if she should try and follow the fleeing woman or stay and reassure Elly. "I'm sorry, truly."

Edwin reaches out and touches Elly's hand. "I do not believe that the face is for the food. The food is wonderful, love." As he casts his gaze back and forth to the bar. "Sit down and enjoy, Elly." He smiles to her, "It's a lovely party." He smiles to her and reaches to take the plates from her hands and settle them back on the table. His eyes do catch the fleeting woman and a brow is raised.

Audrey frowns a little when Ranjali pulls away, but it's soon forgotten in her concern for Elly. "See Elly? Nothing to worry about. The food is spectacular, as always. I don't think you could cook something distasteful if you tried."

Elly looks ever so relieved. "I'm sorry, I din't mean to make a fuss. It's Audrey's Birfday, let's all just continue to enjoy and celebrate Audrey!" She blushes and looks very apologetic to Audrey as she re-sets out everything and even organizes it a bit more pleasing to the eye than the parade of wenches arranged it. "So tell us about India! Wha did ye two do…besides be all smoocheroo?" She giggles and gives a little waggle of her eyebrows to the beautiful pair. Settling down next to Edwin there are very subtle hints that there could be more than just friendship in mind, on Elly's part, Edwin is a bit more bold about it.

Ranjali returns to her seat with a sigh of relief and a rather dark blush. "W-we, ah, I took Audrey to the Navratri festival in New Delhi." She replies quietly, turning her attention instantly again to her food. This time, with less distractions and determination, she truly tastes the food, which now receives a delighted smile. Especially the rice!

Edwin is now sampling all sorts of things on the plates and he finally points at one, "What is this? It's amazing." As he dips his naan into it for the fourth time to ample.

Audrey beams at Ranjali. "The festival was amazing. They build these incredible structures. These shrines. What are they called? Pa-…pandals! These pandals are just beautiful. Bright colors. Covered with all of these shapes and incredibly intricate designs. The thing is, they built them specifically for the festival! Muggles do this. There's no magic involved at all! You would have to see them. They are stunning."

Elly gives a squee and a happy rapid quiet little clap when Ranjali gives a delighted smile. Now that is the reaction she was hoping for. She smiles watching Edwin dig in and for a little while just watches until he asks and she chuckles. "Tha is…" She looks over to Ranjali. "I could spell them…sayin on the other 'and…" Giving it a try anyways the lovely Indian couple she deals with at the Borough market for spices did try to help her pronounce them right. "Ahh-looo. Goh-bee?" She peeks over at Ranjali worried she's butchering the word. But then she's beaming at Audrey's talk of the festival and gives a whimsical sigh. Her chin moving to rest on Edwin's shoulder as she gets a far off dreamy look. But there's a bit of a clatter from the kitchen and she's righting herself up again to get herself another collection of bites.

Ranjali's smile grows with Audrey's enthusiasm. Nodding, she continues to taste as many dishes as she can, taking a piece of naan when her plate is clear enough and filling it as she had the paranthas. "Aloo Gobi, yes." She encourages. "And it was wonderful. It was my first Navratri festival as well."

Muggles. Now Edwin is trying pulled into the conversation. "They spend all that time doing something for a festival? How long is the festival?" He asks and as Elly rests her head on his shoulder a brow lifts and his face shows a little more of a smile… That is until the clatter happens in the kitchen. He looks that direction and cannot help the sigh that escapes his lips before he brings that smile back, "However it is pronounced it is quite wonderful." He lifts the bread to toast Elly's cooking.

"Oh! I know this one," Audrey bounces in her seat excitedly as she tries to remember. "Nine days and ten nights?" She looks to Ranjali for confirmation." We only went for one night. But it was the best night to go, because of the dancing. OH! It was incredible. Thousands of girls dancing in the street together, and we got to dance with them! It was this ocean of color and movement." Audrey's hand goes to her bosom in a display of just how moved she was at the experience.

Elly actually gets teary eyed listening to the stories of the festival and the beauty and is just jealous as can be…for Elly. Which means she's just completely overwhelmed with joy for them. Getting that dreamy little look she shakes her head. "Furthest from 'ome I've evah been is Hoggies, an' Dovah. Went to the cliffs on Saturday. S'where we got all the silks an' fabrics. So jealous of ye two. Such glamourous lives ye lead." Whistful sigh and dreamy smile.

"Ten days, nine nights." Ranjali corrects quietly, her eyes unable to help following Audrey's hand for a moment. "Oh, I don't know about that." She murmurs, pulling her gaze back to Elly. "Its Audrey who lives the glamourous life. I am simply lucky enough to be a part of it."

Edwin blinks a bit at the description of the festival and looks to Elly and the faces that she makes. He smiles a little bit and reaches to brush a prig of hair from her cheek, "Maybe I could take you to India some day." He smiles to her, "A possibility."

Elly gives Edwin's cheek a soft kiss and a beaming smile when he offers to take her to India. But there's certainly an ample amount of 'we'll see' in her expression.

Audrey slaps her hands on the table excitedly. "We should all go! We could do an entire European and Asian tour. We'll start in Spain…no, France! Then Spain, and work our way to Italy and Greece. I want to see the Parthenon! Then we can head straight to Turkey…." On and on she goes with her plans to drag them all over the world, revising them frequently throughout the night, until exhaustion finally takes its toll, and the foursome finally breaks into two twosomes, kisses and hugs all around to bid all a good night.

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